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by Eull Dunlop
"Growing up in the village of Kells, in the civil parish of Connor, Co. Antrim, from 1950 until migration the five miles to ‘the town’, Ballymena, in 1966, I was early aware that the area had a rich religious history. Accordingly, when asked years later to word Ballymena Borough Council’s new signs, I described Connor as an ‘historic ecclesiastical site’ and Kells as an ‘ancient monastic settlement’, in the latter case alluding to the mediaeval ruins at Templemoyle.
While the parish has given its name to a diocese in two episcopal traditions, Roman Catholic and Protestant (Church of Ireland), the area, however, has long manifested a rather different denominational preponderance. ‘The inhabitants of this parish’, wrote those charged with compilation of the Ordnance Survey Memoirs in the 1830s, ‘are almost all Presbyterians (either of the Synod of Ulster or Covenanters)."
This article comments on the 1859 revival in Antrim, mentioning some prominent people and places of possible genealogical interest.